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Psychol Trauma. 2019 Jan;11(1):90-98. doi: 10.1037/tra0000403. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

Childhood maltreatment, attachment, and borderline personality-related symptoms: Gender-specific structural equation models.

Author information

1
Department of Sexology.
2
Department of Psychology.
3
Faculty of Graduate Studies.
4
Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Survivors of early interpersonal trauma may experience relational problems, anger, impulsive and self-destructive behaviors, identity disturbance, and other difficulties that are associated with borderline personality disorder. Insecure attachment also has been documented in survivors and may be related to borderline personality-related symptoms (BPRS). The goal of the current study was to examine an integrative model of maternal and paternal childhood maltreatment and insecure attachment as they predict BPRS.

METHOD:

The sample was composed of 954 participants who completed self-report measures of parental maltreatment during childhood, attachment security, and trauma-related symptoms.

RESULTS:

Structural equation modeling suggested differential impacts of maternal and paternal maltreatment on male and female participants. Both maternal and paternal maltreatment were directly associated with BPRS in women, whereas in men, only paternal maltreatment was directly related to BPRS. In women, paternal maltreatment was indirectly associated with BPRS through attachment anxiety but not through attachment avoidance. In men, maternal maltreatment was indirectly associated with BPRS through attachment anxiety but not through attachment avoidance.

CONCLUSION:

These findings have implications for the understanding of gender-specific etiologies of borderline personality symptoms and underscore attachment security as an important intervention target. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

PMID:
30211600
DOI:
10.1037/tra0000403
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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